Faust

Dynasty: QB Teddy Bridgewater, NY Jets

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Louisville QB, Miami Northwestern grad Teddy Bridgewater building his Heisman bid

FIU expects to have its hands full with Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, the former Miami Northwestern High star who ranks among the nation’s leaders in passing yards.

By David J. Neal

Quote

Everybody’s talking about Louisville quarterback and Miami Northwestern High graduate Teddy Bridgewater these days.

The Heisman Trophy trackers talk about Bridgewater. He’s near the top of all the Heisman Watch lists, right there around last year’s winner, Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel. Statistically, Bridgewater is third nationally in gross passing yards (1,002) and fourth in passing efficiency (201.3 points) with a 10/1 touchdown/interception ratio that warms coaches’ hearts even more than Heisman voters.

You win the Heisman in big games against high-profile opponents. You keep yourself in position to win the Heisman in games such as Saturday’s against 0-3 FIU.

“Teddy’s played well each and every game,” Louisville coach Charlie Strong said. “Our players understand that on offense as he goes, the team goes. We still have a lot of games left, but Teddy’s performed at the level we’ve expected him to.”

NFL trackers can’t stop talking about Teddy Bridgewater, especially after Cleveland traded running back Trent Richardson to Indianapolis for a first-round pick on Wednesday. The consensus from NFL analysts in the media: The Browns were stockpiling first-round picks while weakening their roster so as to have a better chance of drafting Bridgewater high in 2014’s first round.

FIU coach Ron Turner is a former NFL quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator. The day before the trade, the brother of Cleveland offensive coordinator Norv Turner and uncle of Cleveland wide receivers coach Scott Turner said he definitely sees Bridgewater as NFL material.

“He’s smart, he’s instinctive, he’s accurate, he leads,” Ron Turner said. “When you put on the film and watch somebody play, you know [whether or not] that quarterback is in charge. Sometimes, you don’t see that, sometimes, you do see that. You put him on and you say, ‘That quarterback is in charge.’ There’s nothing he can’t do. He can throw it, he can run. He can get them out of bad plays and into good plays. He’s a hell of a football player. As good as I’ve seen in a long time.”

Press him on his best quality and Bridgewater will admit it’s his leadership. But among the few people not talking about Teddy Bridgewater — or not as readily willing to talk about Teddy Bridgewater — is Teddy Bridgewater.

“I don’t pay any attention to it,” Bridgewater said of the media noise with his name. “Any of it. At the end of the day, it’s about this team.”

That’s not faux toe-scraping to mollify fans or media who harrumph at brash cash gestures and prepping for playing on Sunday from college quarterbacks. Talk to Bridgewater’s past teammates or friends and “humble” gets recycled.

“Very humble guy, very enthusiastic on the field,” said FIU redshirt sophomore wide receiver Dominqiue Rhymes, Northwestern Class of 2011 with Bridgewater. “He doesn’t brag on himself. He doesn’t want anybody to brag on him. He just stays humble. He just wants to work hard at his craft.”

FIU sophomore E.J. Hilliard, a good friend of Bridgewater’s and Saturday’s starter for the Panthers, said, “Always laid back, always humble, always cracking jokes. I haven’t seen a change in him. He’s always been mature. Same guy that I’ve known since the ninth grade.”

Bridgewater said: “I just felt that being humble is part of how you always have to be at the quarterback position. If you remain calm and always have a positive demeanor, that right there can carry a team a long way.”

He claims he never thinks about what might have been had he not switched from the University of Miami, where he verbally committed before head coach Randy Shannon’s firing, to Louisville. That’s understandable. Since Bridgewater took over from senior Will Stein in the middle of the third game of his freshman year, Louisville tied for a Big East title, won another Big East title outright and whipped Florida in January’s Sugar Bowl.

One of Bridgewater’s few pedestrian games came in last year’s 28-21 win at FIU: 19 of 36 for 194 yards, two TDs and two interceptions.

“No nervousness, none at all,” he said about last year’s and this year’s game. “As another opponent on the schedule, we’re just going to continue to play Louisville football.”

 
Edited by Faust
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Rotoworld:

CEO Joe Banner insists the Browns aren't tanking the season in order to land Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater in the 2014 draft.

Perhaps "tanking" isn't a fair word, but the Browns are doing well to stockpile 2014 picks. Following Wednesday's shocking trade of Trent Richardson, they'll have 10 picks overall including two first-rounders, two third-rounders and two fourth-rounders. It's a valid way to rebuild a team, and they gave up a player at the game's most replaceable position. Bridgewater, the consensus top quarterback that will be available in April, should be in Banner's crosshairs.

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Rotoworld:

After the Browns traded top running back Trent Richardson to the Colts for a first-round pick, it appears they are focused on finding a quarterback early in May's draft.

NFL.com's Bucky Brooks spoke to one scout who noted "its all about quarterback in Chud's mind." This is obviously referring to Browns head coach Rob Chudzinski, who failed to efficiently utilize running backs in Carolina and in two games in Cleveland. Chud is known for his vertical passing attack, and the quarterback class has questions after Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater comes off the board. LSU's Zach Mettenberger, Miami's Stephen Morris, and Clemson's Tajh Boyd have the best vertical arms, but redshirt sophomores Marcus Mariota and Brett Hundley might be more likely early in the draft.

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Watched him against Kentucky and wasn't that impressed. I'm obviously no scout, but Manzell has looked far superior IMO. Bridgewater looked good against a solid UF team last year, but Manzell has been a one man wrecking crew against some of the best defenses college football has to offer. Would love to see what he could do in a Eagles uniform next year.

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Anyone who thinks Manziel is a legit NFL prospect is kidding themselves. Mike Evans is a better WR prospect than Manziel is a QB prospect. Take away Evans and A&M doesn't stand a chance against Alabama.

There are 3-5 QBs I'd take over Manziel.

There may be some QBs that may have more upside than Bridgewater, but none have his polish and lack of question marks.

Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Aaron Rodgers could probably never have done what Manziel did against Alabama. Does that make Manziel a better prospect? Teddy Bridgewater probably can't do what Manziel is doing. Does that make him a worse prospect? Most likely not.

Being able to run is nice and all, but you still need to make plays from the pocket in the NFL. Manziel doesn't do much of that.

Only one QB I'd be willing to put ahead of Bridgewater is Brett Hundley. He has a rocket arm in the mold of Kaepernick and he plays in a semi-pro style offense where he has to read the whole field. He looks more polished this year than last.

Griffin III may have had more upside than Luck, but no one is going to take Griffin over Luck. I don't see any team taking Hundley over Bridgewater.

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Rotoworld:

Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 25 of 35 attempts for 348 yards and two touchdowns in a 30-7 win over Temple.

Bridgewater continues to beat up whoever he faces, showing great touch and placement at every level of the field. We've seen him play some very talented defenses in Florida, UConn, and Rutgers last season, but expect to hear his level of competition questioned throughout the draft process.

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GMs for Steelers, Jags to watch Louisville's Bridgewater play

By Mike Huguenin

College Football 24/7 writer

Louisville coach Charlie Strong told the players on his his team that Thursday night's nationally televised game with Rutgers will give the whole country a chance to watch them play. Inside the stadium, there will be a large contingent of NFL scouts on hand.

Louisville TV station WDRB reported there will be at least 26 NFL scouts in attendance, from 20 teams. Jacksonville has asked for three credentials, including one for Jaguars GM David Caldwell. Pittsburgh will also have its GM, Kevin Colbert, present. And Tampa Bay is sending Eric Stokes, the team's director of scouting, the station reported.

The main attraction will be Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who sits atop a lot of draft boards and is the No. 3-rated passer in Bucky Brooks' college football quarterback rankings. Bridgewater (listed by Louisville at 6-foot-3, 196 pounds) is averaging 312.4 passing yards per game, with 16 TDs and one interception, and he is completing 71.7 percent of his passes.

Bridgewater has been a topic of speculation over the last few days. On Tuesday, a New York Post columnist suggested the New York Giants -- if in position to do so -- draft Bridgewater as Eli Manning's successor. And on Wednesday, on the College Football 24/7 podcast, draft analysts Daniel Jeremiah and Bucky Brooks discussed Bridgewater as a prospect and the Giants and Steelers as possible fits.

While Brooks liked the idea of replacing Manning with Bridgewater, Jeremiah said the Louisville quarterback would not be an upgrade over Ben Roethlisberger in Pittsburgh.

"If the Steelers have a top-5 pick, they should trade it for four offensive linemen. They are so bad up front," Jeremiah said. "I believe in Roethlisberger. I believe you put the pieces around Roethlisberger."

Jeremiah, a former scout for three NFL teams, continued: "From the grades I've handed out, I'd have (Bridgewater) behind (Matthew) Stafford, I'd have him in that Ryan Tannehill group, probably I'd have him behind RG III. I'd have him over (Mark) Sanchez when he came out. I liked Alex Smith when he came out, so grade-wise I'd have him right there with Alex Smith."

The scouts could see a prolific night from Bridgewater; he will be throwing against a Rutgers secondary that surrendered 484 passing yards to SMU, 456 to Fresno State and 335 to Eastern Michigan.

Also of interest to scouts in Thursday's game will be Rutgers junior wide receiver Brandon Coleman. At 6-6, 220 pounds, he has an intriguing combination of size, speed and production. Coleman had 43 receptions for 718 yards (16.7 yards per catch) and 10 TDs last season but has struggled some this season, with 15 receptions for 220 yards (14.7 yards per catch) and two touchdowns. He missed spring drills after what was described as a minor knee surgery, and he hasn't looked as fast as he did last season. Still, at his best, Coleman is physical and quick, and his size poses a huge problem for opposing corners and safeties.

While Bridgewater and Coleman will be the night's stars, Strong said the game is a chance for his whole team to show off.

"What happens is you get the whole country watching your game, and a lot of the recruits you want get the chance to get a good look at your program," he said in his weekly teleconference. "A lot of people haven't had the opportunity to watch us play yet, and with it being a good opponent, they can see just exactly who we are and what we are all about."

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

NY Post says it might be hard for Giants to pass on Bridgewater

Edited by Faust

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I don't think it happens, but i want to see the giants get the top pick. Either we will see a bidding war, our the second Manning "chased" out of town by "the next big thing"

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The Giants won't be bad enough for Bridgewater. Fortunately.

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#1 pick already belongs to either the Jags or the Bucs...both who could benefit from Bridgewater.

No, it doesn't. Really wouldn't surprise me to see the bucs picking around #5.

Aside from the loss to the patriots, the bucs have lost 3 games by a total of 6 points and have winnable games in their schedule.

Edited by FUBAR

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The Giants won't be bad enough for Bridgewater. Fortunately.

Not so sure about that.

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The Giants won't be bad enough for Bridgewater. Fortunately.

Not so sure about that.

Starting to rethink. Just feels like Eli will goober his way into a couple game winners to Cruz.

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They probably won't do it but if either Pittsburgh or new york can draft bridgewater they should.

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On big stage, Teddy Bridgewater flashes No. 1 overall form

By Rob Rang | The Sports Xchange/CBSSports.com

October 10, 2013 10:53 pm ET

With representatives from most NFL teams attending, Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater impressed while guiding his No. 8 Cardinals to a 24-10 victory Thursday night in a key AAC showdown with Rutgers.

The NFL contingent reportedly included 26 scouts in all, including general managers from the Jacksonville Jaguars, Pittsburgh Steelers, Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks. Jacksonville, the favorite to "earn" the No. 1 overall pick and currently projected to select Bridgewater had multiple scouts on hand.

If the pressure of so many scouts in the building bothered Bridgewater, NFLDraftScout.com's top-rated overall prospect, the junior certainly didn't show it.

Taking most of his snaps from under center in Louisville's pro-style offense, the 6-foot-3, 205-pound quarterback completed 21 of 31 passes for 310 yards and two touchdowns with one interception on the night. Bridgewater's performance is all the more impressive considering that his leading receiver, Devante Parker, was a late scratch due to a shoulder injury.

Scouts circled Thursday's game as a relatively rare opportunity to see Bridgewater against a respected opponent. One of the primary knocks on Bridgewater has been his level of competition. Entering Thursday night's game, Louisville had beaten Ohio, Eastern Kentucky, Kentucky, Florida International and Temple by a combined score of 222-27.

Rutgers (4-2) entered the game with their only previous loss of the year a 52-51 overtime defeat by No. 21 Fresno State in the season-opener August 29.

While talent evaluators can quibble over his opponents, Bridgewater's pin-point accuracy remained every bit as impressive against Rutgers Thursday night as it was in January when he earned MVP honors in guiding Louisville to a shockingly easy win over then No. 4 Florida in the Sugar Bowl.

Just as he had against the Gators, Bridgewater looked every bit a future No. 1 overall candidate with his ability to read defenses and make audibles at the line of scrimmage before delivering catchable passes to all levels of the field.

In an era of spread offenses that rarely ask quarterbacks to challenge defenses with passes longer than 10 yards, Bridgewater's willingness to take deep shots, in fact, is one of the most exciting elements of his play.

His aggression paid off with a beautifully thrown deep corner pass that hit Kai De La Cruz for a 34-yard touchdown that staked the Cardinals to a 10-0 early in the second quarter.

It backfired late in the second quarter, however, when he put slightly too much loft on the ball, allowing Rutgers' free safety Jeremy Deering to beat freshman James Quick for just Bridgewater's second interception of the season.

The interception was actually a well thrown pass from Bridgewater that Deering read and accelerated quickly to corral. Regardless of its aesthetic value, the pass resulted in a turnover that served as a blight on what was otherwise a sterling performance from the young quarterback.

It is sometimes difficult to remember that Bridgewater is just in his third season of collegiate action because of his mastery of some of the subtleties of the position. He is effortless in his set-up and delivery of the ball. Bridgewater possesses a compact throwing motion that gives defenders little time to adjust and is smooth in play-action, extending the ball fully and turning his back to the defense to carry out the fake. Most importantly, he possesses Pro-Bowl caliber accuracy, showing the touch to loft passes over defenders as well as the velocity needed to zip through tight windows. He was particularly effective on slants and deep crossing routes.

Louisville's offensive line did a nice job of protecting him but Bridgewater occasionally showed off his athleticism, as well. Twice he scrambled for 12-yard gains on Louisville's third scoring drive of the game. He also demonstrated the ability to hit receivers in stride when rolling to his left and right. Among his most impressive throws of the game, in fact, came while running right to escape pressure on Louisville's first drive of the third quarter. Facing third-and-6, Bridgewater, sprinted right and showed good arm strength and great ball placement to lead Damian Copeland for a gain of 20.

While Bridgewater is certainly gifted, like any player he comes with some concerns. When he was off-target in this contest, it was over the middle -- the most dangerous area of the field to be inaccurate. He generally throws tight spirals but had a few wobblers late in the second and third quarters. He also misfired on a deep wheel route with roughly six minutes remaining that could have given Louisville some cushion.

Further, while Bridgewater has shown great toughness over his career (63 sacks to date) and took some shots in this game, he is lighter than scouts would prefer and has narrow shoulders, limiting his body's capacity to add muscle mass. Some will worry if he'll be able to hold up to the barrage of hits that could come in playing quarterback for one of the league's worst teams.

The fact that so many talent evaluators were on hand for a game that they easily could have watched from the comforts of their living room is a testament to the buzz building around Bridgewater.

With yet another masterful performance, expect that buzz to continue grow.

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Note: There is an audio clip within the linked article.

Film room: Breaking down Louisville QB Teddy Bridgewater

By Bucky Brooks NFL.com

NFL Media analyst

The quickest way to transform the fortunes of an NFL franchise is to draft a transcendent star quarterback. History is littered with examples of superstar quarterbacks orchestrating impressive turnarounds for struggling franchises, particularly those drafted with the No. 1 overall pick.

Look no further than the dramatic improvement of the Indianapolis Colts under Andrew Luck. The second-year standout immediately returned the franchise to prominence, while shattering NFL rookie passing records for yards, attempts and 300-yard games. Most importantly, Luck led the Colts to the most wins (11) by a No. 1 overall pick in his rookie season in NFL history.

With Luck's impact fresh in the minds of every NFL general manager and scout, the football world tuned in with great anticipation to see Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater perform on a big stage against Rutgers. Although the Scarlet Knights entered the game lightly regarded on the national scene despite a 4-1 record, the fact that the team routinely produces NFL-caliber talent on defense (Rutgers had five defenders drafted in 2013) suggested that Bridgewater would be tested in the pocket as a thrower and decision maker. Moreover, the national attention that surrounded the game would provide evaluators with an opportunity to see how well Bridgewater handled the spotlight that could accompany his arrival as a potential top pick in the draft.

Given the pressure and expectations that were riding on Bridgewater's performance on Thursday night, I thought I would take a close look at his play to see where he stands at this point of the season. Here are my thoughts:

Athleticism

The recent influx of athletic quarterbacks to the NFL has led more teams to covet agility and movement skills at the position. Most offensive coordinators in the pro game would opt for a polished pocket passer over a dynamic run-first quarterback, but the speed and explosiveness of the NFL defenders makes it hard for immobile quarterbacks to function within the pocket. Bridgewater is a good, not great athlete. He is nimble and elusive within a short area, and has enough speed to flee the pocket when it collapses for a positive gain. However, Bridgewater is not an explosive runner in the mold of Robert Griffin III and Colin Kaepernick. Sure, he is more than capable of executing some of the read-option concepts that have popped up in the pro game, but Bridgewater is a thrower with just enough athleticism and quickness to threaten opponents on the perimeter. Against Rutgers, Bridgewater frequently displayed his nifty footwork eluding rushers in the pocket for positive gains on scrambles. Additionally, he completed a few passes on the move that showcased his mobility and passing skills. With most NFL playbooks, particularly those deeply rooted in West Coast offensive passing concepts, featuring an assortment of sprint-out and movement-passing plays, Bridgewater's athleticism will fit perfectly at the next level.

Arm Talent

Bridgewater displays outstanding arm talent as a pocket passer. He grades out near the top of the scale in arm strength (I watched him zing it in person at the 2013 Sugar Bowl against Florida), and is capable of making every throw in the book with zip or touch. Additionally, Bridgewater throws a tight spiral that rarely wobbles in-flight. Factor in his superb ball placement and touch, and it is not often the Cardinals' receivers are forced to snatch passes outside of the strike zone. Against Rutgers, however, Bridgewater was not nearly as accurate as he appeared on tape. He missed a handful of touch throws at intermediate and deep range, including a potential touchdown down the boundary on the left. Although I don't know if the weather or wind conditions played a part in his misfires, I was certainly surprised to see Bridgewater blow a few layups down the field. To his credit, the standout junior did show tremendous anticipation, touch and trajectory on a few post-corner tosses to the sideline, including a 34-yard scoring strike to Kai De La Cruz in the second quarter.

Additionally, Bridgewater displayed exceptional natural arm strength by tossing accurate throws to the outside portion of the field while falling away from the rush. While his footwork on these tosses was certainly not textbook, the fact that he was able to deliver a pinpoint pass to Michaelee Harris on a deep post-corner with a rusher in his face reveals a lot about his courage and arm talent.

Football Intelligence

The ability to win the game at the line of scrimmage separates elite quarterbacks from their peers at the next level. Top quarterbacks have the ability to make checks and adjustments prior to the snap to ensure the offense is consistently in the best possible play. Bridgewater rates off the charts in this area, according to scouts and colleagues that I've spoken with in recent weeks. He routinely walks to the line with two or three play calls at his disposal in the Cardinals' "check with me" system (the quarterback will change the play or the direction of the play call based on the defensive alignment). Against Rutgers, Bridgewater routinely "killed" the original play call to get the Cardinals in the optimal play. This was apparent very early in the game when he routinely made a throat slashing gesture at the line, while barking out an audible to each side. Interestingly, Bridgewater consistently checked to running plays in these situations to take advantage of the light boxes that the Rutgers' defense employed at the outset. This helped the Cardinals get off to a strong start on the ground, which led to big-play opportunities later in the game off play-action. In addition, Bridgewater's super football intelligence allowed the Cardinals to effectively handle some of the blitz pressures employed by the Scarlet Knights. With Bridgewater exhibiting the intelligence and awareness to handle extraordinary responsibility at the line, NFL coaches will covet his advanced mental skills at the next level.

Pocket Presence

The top quarterbacks in the NFL thrive amid the chaos of the pocket. Elite passers have the ability to maneuver around rushers, while maintaining vision down the field. This skill not only requires courage and confidence, but it takes a level of awareness that some passers fail to acquire. Bridgewater certainly exhibits all of the characteristics to thrive as a pocket passer as a pro. He never appears rattled or flustered facing pressure, and his ability to bounce back from big hits or poor plays is a testament to his confidence and cool demeanor. Against Rutgers, Bridgewater never blinked in the face of pressure despite taking a few big shots in the pocket. Although the Scarlet Knights recorded two sacks in the game, Bridgewater was seemingly unfazed by the pressure, as he routinely delivered accurate throws to his receivers with rushers in close proximity. This is certainly an encouraging sign to NFL evaluators that understand how frequently quarterbacks must throw with defenders near their feet in the pocket. Most importantly, Bridgewater's toughness and unflappable demeanor suggests that his game will not change if he takes a beating from the defenders.

Clutch Factor

The majority of NFL games are decided in the fourth quarter, with a top quarterback making a handful of critical plays with the game on the line. To determine if a prospect is capable of succeeding in those moments, scouts pay close attention to how well quarterbacks handle third-down situations, two-minute drills and late-game conversions. Bridgewater has performed well in these moments throughout his career, and continued to exhibit clutch characteristics against Rutgers. He was superb on third down (he completed 8 of 10 pass attempts on the critical down), and masterfully directed the Cardinals down the field at the end of the first half. Although he tossed an interception in the end zone, Bridgewater's ability to manage the clock and situation provided scouts with a glimpse of his brilliance as a playmaker.

In addition, scouts were able to see how well Bridgewater handled adversity with the Cardinals surprising locked in a close game in the fourth quarter. Bridgewater navigated the situation well by connecting on a few critical throws, including a 6-yard score that put the game on ice. While some observers likely walked away from the game disappointed in Bridgewater's output, the fact that he was able to make critical plays in the clutch despite being off his game says a lot about his poise and confidence under pressure.

Conclusion

Bridgewater put on a solid performance against Rutgers despite being slightly off his game. He didn't exhibit his trademark accuracy at all times, but it's easy to see his burgeoning potential as a franchise player. He is not only a superior passer with exceptional talent, but he has all of the football intelligence and intangibles needed to handle the tough situations that pop up in games. As a player, Bridgewater reminds me of Aaron Rodgers coming out of Cal (I gave Rodgers and Alex Smith bottom-of-the-first-round grades in the 2005 draft when I covered the West Coast for the Carolina Panthers). He is slightly built with a strong arm and extraordinary mental traits. If he continues to progress on his current path, there is no reason why he should not excel at the next level as a franchise quarterback.

Follow Bucky Brooks on Twitter @BuckyBrooks.

Edited by Faust

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Rotoworld:

An NFC scout that spoke to NFL.com's Bucky Brooks expressed no concerns about Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridewater's mediocre nationally-televised performance on Thursday against Rutgers.

Bridgewater completed 21-of-31 passes for 310 yards, two touchdowns and one interception in a 24-10 win. "Bridgewater was off his game but certainly has all of the tools to be a franchise quarterback," the scout said. "He has the arm talent to make every throw in the book and is deadly accurate at every range. He didn't play his best game against Rutgers, but I tend to evaluate quarterbacks by how poor their worst throws are, and he only had four, by my calculations." An AFC scout echoed those sentiments: "The physical tools are there. He was a little inconsistent [against Rutgers], but he's legit. Bridgewater has very good intangibles, arm talent and athleticism. I was most impressed by the character that everyone raves about. The kid is going to graduate in three years because he took 19 hours in the summer and is currently taking 15 hours this fall. That's pretty impressive." Bridgewater has thrown for 1,872 yards and registered an impressive 71% comple
Source: NFL.com

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Any concerns that Bridgewater isn't playing against better teams? Seems like a cupcake schedule.

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Rotoworld:

An NFL scout told USA Today said that Louisville junior Teddy Bridgewater "has some things he needs to clean up."

"He'll get into some points where it looks like he's trying to force a couple balls into coverage, throwing in the deep middle of the field with the safety high," the anonymous scout said. "Long ball accuracy and trajectory -- he's got to clean that up a little bit." The scout said Bridgewater's use of a glove on his throwing hand "kind of freaks me out a little bit," because it generally means a thrower has small hands, and he also disparaged Louisville's schedule strength. This criticism is all on the nit-picking level -- everything mentioned is either fixable or not Bridgewater's fault (except, perhaps, for his hand size) -- but that's a scout's job.
Source: USA Today

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Rotoworld:

Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 29-of-38 passes for 341 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions in Friday's 38-35 upset loss to Central Florida.

No. 8 Louisville hadn't encountered much drama this season, as they trailed for the first time in 2013 in the fourth quarter against the Knights. Critics picked on Bridgewater's game following last Thursday's dud performance against Rutgers, and he performed much better in a losing effort. "Bridgewater has a natural feel inside the pocket," NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah tweeted during the game. "Always slides away from pressure and keeps his eyes up." Bridgewater's Heisman candidacy is likely over, as is Louisville's National Championship hopes.

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I've been a fan of Teddy the whole way even though he always dominates my Rutgers squad...he was amazing last night. Even forgetting the great numbers, he has pinpoint accuracy, knows when to zip it and when to put some air under it, is great out of the pocket (he threw a beautiful ball about 50 yards on the run that the receiver needed to dive for but should have come up with it), and his release is lightning fast.

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Any concerns that Bridgewater isn't playing against better teams? Seems like a cupcake schedule.

Would Kentucky be the best defense he plays this year? Maybe we'll get to see him play a decent team in their bowl game

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Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater throws for 341 in loss to UCF

By Mike Huguenin

College Football 24/7 writer

Nothing about Louisville junior quarterback Teddy Bridgewater's performance Friday night is going to lead to any kind of major opinion change about his draft stock. But opinions about his team are another matter.

UCF is the new team to beat in the AAC after its 38-35 upset at Louisville, ending Louisville's long-shot national title hopes and almost certainly ending Bridgewater's Heisman campaign.

Bridgewater (6-foot-3, 196 pounds) was 29 of 38 for 341 yards and two TDs; he led the Cardinals on a nine-play, 88-yard drive for a TD and a 35-31 lead with three minutes left. He was 5 of 7 for 66 yards on the drive. But UCF junior quarterback Blake Bortles then guided the Knights on an 11-play, 75-yard drive that culminated in Bortles' second TD pass of the night with 23 seconds left. Bortles (6-4, 230) was 6 of 8 for 65 yards on the drive.

Louisville (6-1) led 28-7 midway through the third quarter, but UCF rallied with three TDs in a 4:20 stretch of the period to tie it going into the fourth.

Louisville went into the game No. 2 in the nation in total defense, allowing just 229.5 yards per game. But UCF -- by far the most complete team Louisville has played -- finished with 446 yards. Bortles threw for 250, and junior tailback Storm Johnson ran for 109 yards and a TD on 18 carries; Johnson (6-0, 215) also had a touchdown catch. Backup tailback William Stanback ran for 65 yards and two scores on nine carries as UCF's offensive line dominated the final 22 minutes of the game.

It was Bridgewater's fifth 300-yard game of the season -- and just the second 300-yard game against UCF in the past 21 contests -- and he now has 20 TD passes and two interceptions. He also is completing 71.9 percent of his passing attempts, for 2,213 yards. He was on target most of the night and was effective from the pocket and both rolling to his left and rolling to his right. He completed passes to nine different receivers, but UCF did a nice job limiting big plays. The longest pass play was a 34-yarder to tight end Ryan Hubbell. Bridgewater's biggest problem Friday night was that Louisville's defense fell apart in the final 20 minutes.

UCF (5-1), which earlier this season won at Penn State and lost by three at home to South Carolina, looks to have two tough games left, with "tough" being a relative term. The Knights play host to unbeaten Houston on Nov. 9 and to Rutgers -- which lost last week at Louisville -- on Nov. 21. They now have the inside track to the AAC's automatic BCS bid.

As for Louisville, worth noting is that the Russell Athletic Bowl, in Orlando, has the first pick of the AAC teams not in the BCS. Thus, Friday night's loss to a team from Orlando could end up sending the Cardinals to Orlando for the postseason.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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After Luck and RG3, how should he rank compared to the other QBs drafted over the last two years?

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Any concerns that Bridgewater isn't playing against better teams? Seems like a cupcake schedule.

Would Kentucky be the best defense he plays this year? Maybe we'll get to see him play a decent team in their bowl game

No Rutgers was. And probably Cincinnati. Kentucky is a bottom-dwelling SEC team.

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Does he look small or is it just me?

Only 196 lbs. apparently.

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Rotoworld:

USF head coach Willie Taggart compared Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater to Andrew Luck.

"He's the real deal," Taggart said. "Teddy is a special kid. He reminds me a lot of the way Andrew Luck was as a college player. He's very smart. He runs the entire offense. He can get his guys in and out of good and bad plays. He throws the deep ball very well." Louisville lost to UCF last week, ending Bridgewater's chances at the Heisman and eliminating Louisville from national title contention. Bridgewater will be picked apart, but we are thoroughly impressed.

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Rotoworld:

Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 25 of 29 attempts for 344 yards and three touchdowns in the school's 34-3 win over USF.

Birdgewater averaged a massive 11.9 yards per attempt. He displayed the same pocket movement and placement that we see every week. The first touchdown throw might have been the best, as Bridgewater hit a Louisville receiver deep in the endzone with a trailing USF defender just behind.

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After Luck and RG3, how should he rank compared to the other QBs drafted over the last two years?

Matt Millar has him ahead of RG3 in his scouting report.

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Rotoworld:

Louisville junior QB Teddy Bridgewater completed 25 of 29 attempts for 344 yards and three touchdowns in the school's 34-3 win over USF.

Birdgewater averaged a massive 11.9 yards per attempt. He displayed the same pocket movement and placement that we see every week. The first touchdown throw might have been the best, as Bridgewater hit a Louisville receiver deep in the endzone with a trailing USF defender just behind.

Bucs fans at Raymond James Stadium got a sneak peek at what the future QB will be this weekend, just a couple of days after watching Mike Glennon chuck the ball out of bounds on 4th down. The timing of these events in the same venue seems ironic.

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After Luck and RG3, how should he rank compared to the other QBs drafted over the last two years?

He might end up as the best prospect a lot of people have ever graded. To me it's a push. They are all franchise changers. The only real knocks is his body and his arm. He's something like a mobile Dalton or a more dynamic Alex Smith.

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After Luck and RG3, how should he rank compared to the other QBs drafted over the last two years?

He might end up as the best prospect a lot of people have ever graded. To me it's a push. They are all franchise changers. The only real knocks is his body and his arm. He's something like a mobile Dalton or a more dynamic Alex Smith.

Hmmmm. Not a ringing fantasy endorsement however...

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After Luck and RG3, how should he rank compared to the other QBs drafted over the last two years?

He might end up as the best prospect a lot of people have ever graded. To me it's a push. They are all franchise changers. The only real knocks is his body and his arm. He's something like a mobile Dalton or a more dynamic Alex Smith.

I'm a big Bridgewater fan, but he won't be anyone's best prospect ever.

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Does he look small or is it just me?

Only 196 lbs. apparently.

Does he look small or is it just me?

Only 196 lbs. apparently.

From what I can tell with pads on his body does not look like it is that well defined either (relative). He seems to slide around the pocket well enough, but he rarely runs,. I would be really surprised if he put up the well above average athletic profiles that either Luck or RGIII did. Some teams will favor Marcus Mariota over him, although I think Bridgewater appears to have a fairly high floor.

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Did anyone hear of a report, in a major publication, that an unidentified GM came out and said, admitted, yes his team was indeed trying to lose to get the first round pick?

I heard this on a national radio show (Espn, Fox, not sure which). Not a rumor, a published report (I just don't have a link).

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Did anyone hear of a report, in a major publication, that an unidentified GM came out and said, admitted, yes his team was indeed trying to lose to get the first round pick?

I heard this on a national radio show (Espn, Fox, not sure which). Not a rumor, a published report (I just don't have a link).

I could see it being Jacksonville. Would explain why they kept starting Gabbert every time he was healthy enough.

And I could see Khan being dedicated enough to the long term game to see the obvious value in pulling a tank job like the Colts did for Luck.

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Did anyone hear of a report, in a major publication, that an unidentified GM came out and said, admitted, yes his team was indeed trying to lose to get the first round pick?

I heard this on a national radio show (Espn, Fox, not sure which). Not a rumor, a published report (I just don't have a link).

I find this hard to believe. If it were true the net would be all over it.

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